Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday commented on a report released Tuesday by the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, which found Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google hold monopoly power.

“I’ll bet money that they will not be broken up,” Ballmer said.

Ballmer, who helmed Microsoft through an antitrust lawsuit in the early 2000s, made some recommendations to those companies during CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday.

“If I’m in these guys’ shoes, I say, come on, let’s get down there and let’s regulate me and let’s get it over with so I know what I can do.”

Referring to Microsoft’s antitrust legal challenges over twenty years ago, Ballmer said, “Certainly what I learned as we were going through our antitrust issues in the early 2000s is that you can do things that seem 100% consistent with the law all along the way but then if you wind up with a position that somebody deems a monopoly, life gets kind of crazy.”

“I would certainly recommend to all these tech companies to engage on the issues now, to engage with the regulators now,” said Ballmer. “I do not think they can just take unilateral action and expect it to satisfy whatever it is some regulator or Congressman will decide they should have done. The key is to engage.”

A judge ruled in 2000 that Microsoft violated antitrust laws by attempting to monopolize the web browser market by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, which the Department of Justice said gave Microsoft’s browser an advantage over competitors such as Netscape Navigator and Opera. Microsoft appealed that ruling and settled with the DOJ in 2001.

“I also don’t think the case of Apple is the same as Google is the same as Amazon,” said Ballmer. “In a sense putting them all together makes good

Even if a vaccine for Covid-19 becomes widely available – and widely used – around the globe, and if the current, very onerous government restrictions on international travel largely disappear, airlines still will continue to experience extraordinarily weak demand for business travel through end of 2021, and likely beyond.

And that could be devastating for an already cash-depleted and shrinking airline industry that is guaranteed this year to report losses that, even for a group with a long history making of huge losses, will be record-shattering.

The economic importance of business travel for all conventional airlines and even for most so-called “discount” carriers simply cannot be overstated. It is the kind of travel that historically has generated more than half, and in some cases as much as 75% of carriers’ profits. In effect, cheaper seats sold mostly to leisure travelers are “loss leaders” that serve to fill 75% of the industry’s available seats so that the carriers then are able to offer near-on demand flights to their big-spending business travel customers.

In 2018 business travelers globally spent $1.4 trillion on airlines, hotels, ground transportation, food and other travel services. Half of that was spent in just two economies, the United States and China, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. About 20 percent of the remaining global business travel spending occurred in Europe.

But since the arrival of the pandemic early this year travel has plummeted to previously unseen lows. U.S. air travel fell by

(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing didn’t rule out considering a takeover as early as next year if the lender’s share price recovers, while saying the priority remains implementing his turnaround plan.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg TV, Sewing said he was “laser-focused” on executing on his four-year strategy, which runs through 2022. But pushed on whether that means no deal before then, the CEO said the key phase of the bank’s transformation will actually be completed within the next three months.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing at The Handelsblatt Banking Summit

© Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing at The Handelsblatt Banking Summit

Christian Sewing on Sept. 2.


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Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

“We’ve said 2019 and 2020 are the key years” of the restructuring, he said in the interview. While Sewing didn’t say if and when he’s willing to consider big deals, he reiterated he wouldn’t want to be the takeover target in any transaction. If the bank’s valuation were to recover, “we then have a different position, a better position,” the CEO said.

The comments come as the coronavirus pandemic has reignited takeovers and fueled deal chatter in boardrooms across the continent. UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber has drawn up a wish list of potential merger candidates, with Deutsche Bank among the most favored scenarios, Bloomberg reported last month. The two lenders briefly held informal talks last year and Sewing, too, privately favors a deal with UBS, Bloomberg News has reported.

‘Junior Partner’

“Consolidation needs to happen in Europe,” Sewing said in the interview. But for Deutsche Bank, “it’s important that we’re not a junior partner.” The CEO also pointed out that most of the recent deals in European banking have been domestic, because regulatory obstacles to cross-border consolidation remain.

For now, Deutsche Bank’s market value would

Volatility in emerging market currencies will not let up in the next six months as U.S. presidential election jitters mount and domestic economic growth tapers off, a Reuters poll of market strategists showed.

Most emerging market currencies were forecast to weaken or at best cling to a range over the next three to six months but will rise about 2% on average in a year, supported by a weaker dollar, the Sept. 28-Oct. 5 poll found.

Reuters surveys since the global shutdown in activity in March have been consistently concluding emerging market currencies will not recoup even half their coronavirus-induced 2020 losses within a year.


Still, a steep dollar selloff, which just posted its worst quarter in three years as expectations for a swift recovery from the COVID-19 recession made investors exit safe havens, has helped currencies in less developed countries rise. That comes despite deep economic troubles from the pandemic.

Volatility in emerging market currencies will not let up in the next six months as U.S. presidential election jitters mount and domestic economic growth tapers off, a Reuters poll of market strategists showed. (iStock)

“EM currencies are running on empty without capital inflows or a resounding macro narrative. The large output gap and lower level of economic activity will have a disproportionately negative impact on currencies,” said Jason Daw, head of emerging markets strategy at Societe Generale.

“EM FX has tended to weaken in the lead up to and for several months after a challenger victory in the contest for the White House. A Democratic sweep, our central scenario, could result in weaker EM currencies.”

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Sunday found 51% of voters were backing

HARARE, Oct 5 (Reuters)Zimbabwe’s finance minister said on Monday the economy would not be as severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as initially feared and foreign currency inflows had shown resilience.

The southern African nation was already grappling with runaway inflation, shortages of drugs in hospitals and strikes by public workers before the novel coronavirus arrived in March.

“I am more bullish again even during this COVID-19 moment, I think the economy will surprise us on the upside,” Finance minister Mthuli said during an online media conference.

“Our prognosis is that the impact of COVID-19 overall on Zimbabwe is not as deep as in other countries,” Ncube said but declined to give details or a new economic growth forecast.

Ncube had said during a mid-term budget statement in July that the economy was set to shrink by 4.5% this year owing to the fallout from the pandemic.

Ncube said the government had made significant progress on economic reforms, including cutting its wage bill from 92% of the total budget in 2017 to below 50% now and had stopped printing money and stabilised the exchange rate.

But ordinary Zimbabweans say life has become harder since Ncube was appointed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet two years ago with salaries lagging soaring inflation of 761% and prices of basic goods rocketing up.

Electricity tariffs rose 50% last week, which would feed into inflation, but Ncube said this was necessary to keep the state power company viable and enable it to pay coal suppliers.

Most teachers have refused to return to class since schools re-opened last week for the first time since March, saying they do not earn enough to work.

Ncube said mining and agriculture would anchor an economic recovery. The government would resume token payments to creditors like the World